Demaris Hobbs-Ekdahl shot dead while attending Woodbury Minnesota graduation party. Boy killed after shooting erupts following dispute.
‘It has to stop’. Those are the words uttered by community and family members after a 14 year old boy was killed during a graduation party at a Twin Cities, Minnesota suburb over the weekend.
Demaris Nathan Hobbs-Ekdahl was celebrating his older brother’s graduation on Saturday night when a volley of gunshots rang out, with the boy struck by a bullet at a home in Woodbury just after 10.45pm.
‘He just went to the graduation party with his older brother and they opened fire,’ his aunt, Katie Ekdahl, told the startribune.com. ‘They have got to get these kids off these streets with these guns.’
A white SUV was spotted fleeing the area with Demaris Hobbs-Ekdahl later dying from unspecified injuries, police said. Along with the white SUV, police are now also seeking a dark SUV or truck which is believed to have been involved leading up to the shooting KSTP reported.
The Ekdahls say the shooting came after a confrontation at the party, with the boy according to family members sensing something was wrong and wanting to leave. It was while attempting to leave in a car with his brother that Demaris was shot in the back.
‘It has to stop’
Investigators believe the shooters knew each other and it was not a random act as detectives sought to identify and locate the suspects.
‘Help me!’ one party-goer can be heard yelling in a 911 call reporting the shooting, KARE 11 reported.
The gunfire broke out at a house party with 30 or 40 people inside. Cops said several other houses were hit by gunfire, but nobody was injured.
‘The fact that somebody got shot in this neighborhood. I can’t believe it,’ said Bob McNally, who was nearby at his parent’s home when the shooting happened.
‘It’s ridiculous. This is probably one of the safest neighborhoods in Woodbury,’ McNally told Minnesota CBS.
Tom Wakefield grew emotional thinking of how close gun violence was to his home.
‘We’ve been here 30 years and nothing like this has ever happened. I’m sorry for the neighbors and us,’ local man, Wakefield told the media outlet. ‘So it’s a sad day. Somebody shot. It has to stop.’
Said the victim’s grandmother, ‘This has got to stop. You guys put the guns down. You’re not doing anything but damaging families and killing people that are innocent babies.’
The teen, who had just finished his freshman year at Tartan High School in Oakdale, was remembered for his love of fast cars, sports, and as someone who stayed out of trouble. The family said he called his mom wanting to leave the party after three men pulled a gun on his older brother.
They shot him in back as they were driving away.
A GoFundMe page set up for the victim’s family described Demaris as ‘a beautiful soul’ and ‘full of life’.
‘Last night’s shooting on Edgewood Avenue resulted in the tragic loss of a 14-year-old boy, and our hearts go out to his family,’ said Woodbury police spokesperson John Altman. ‘Detectives worked tirelessly through the night investigating the case and will continue to work on developing leads.’
The ‘incident’ remains under active investigation.